What is Nrf2?
Nrf2 is a structure (i.e., a protein) within cells of the body.
How does Nrf2 work?
Nrf2 acts like a thermostat, but instead of regulating temperature it regulates the level of stress within cells of the body. And just like you set parameters on your thermostat to maintain a certain temperature in your house, the Nrf2 thermostat has set parameters to maintain a certain level of stress within your cells.
Here is where Nrf2 becomes important. When your body is under a lot of stress, it raises the level of stress within the cells to a point where it goes beyond its set parameters. So, just like a thermostat would kick on the A/C in response to air temperatures above those that have been programmed into the system, Nrf2 responds to the increased stress levels by signaling to the cell to start making hundreds of different protective molecules that work to bring stress levels back within the normal range.
How so? These molecules reduce the stress and promote normal body function by –
- removing toxins that cause cell damage
- cleaning up damaged cells
- improving cell function, and
- activating a protective response that defends against future stress
Thus, Nrf2 matters as it helps to minimize the negative effects that high stress loads can have on your body.